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Posted October 3, 2023

By Kevon Wilson

5 Minutes Read


Global Economic Trends 2024: Keeping in Tune with the Ups and Downs

Buckle up, because 2024 is going to be an economic symphony like no other. As we stand on the cusp of this approaching new year, the global stage is buzzing with rhythms, beats, and melodies that promise to redefine the way we think about money, markets, and maybe even life itself. From the BRICS’ power play to tech’s tantalizing tango, from the inflation rollercoaster to the regenerative development rumba of businesses with a conscience —there’s a playlist of 8 top global economic trends that are set to dominate our discussions, decisions, and our economic dance moves. So, whether you’re a Wall Street waltzer, a Main Street mover, or a Small Business Salsero, grab your headphones and let’s dive into these 8 global economic trends for 2024 that’ll shape the economic charts.

1. The Rhythmic Slowdown: Global Growth Takes a Breather

The world’s economic dance floor is showing signs of fatigue. According to the IMF, global growth is projected to dip from 3.5% in 2022 to a more subdued 3.0% in both 2023 and 2024. This deceleration isn’t just a fleeting misstep; it’s a trend. The World Bank echoes this sentiment, forecasting a decline to 2.1% in 2023, before a slight recovery to 2.4% in 2024. The culprits? Monetary tightening, more restrictive credit conditions, and a general sense of “been there, done that” in the global economic scene.

What does this ‘rhythmic slowdown’ mean? Businesses, especially those reliant on external financing, should be prepared for higher interest rates and stricter lending criteria. Also, a slowdown in global growth often translates to reduced consumer spending. Companies, particularly in the consumer goods sector, might face challenges in maintaining sales volumes and could need to rethink pricing and promotional strategies.

In a slower growth environment, innovation becomes crucial. Companies that can introduce new products, services, or processes might have a competitive edge. Additionally, focusing on operational efficiencies can help maintain profit margins even if revenues face pressure.

2. Keeping Pace with Inflation

Inflation, that pesky dance partner that never quite follows the rhythm, is making its presence felt. The IMF notes that global headline inflation is expected to fall from a staggering 8.7% in 2022 to 6.8% in 2023, eventually settling at 5.2% in 2024. But here’s the twist: core inflation (the one that excludes volatile items like food and energy) is taking its sweet time to decline. So, while we might be seeing some relief, it’s coming at a pace that’s more waltz than jive.

Now, let’s talk rice. That humble grain that’s a staple for half the world. Now, when India, a behemoth that dishes out over 40% of global rice exports, decides to play hardball with export restrictions, you better believe it’s going to send shockwaves through the global pantry. Prices surged, with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s All Rice Price Index hopping onto a wild 9.8% ride in just August, reaching a dizzying 15-year high. For many nations, especially those relying heavily on India’s rice exports, this move isn’t just about economics; it’s about dinner plates. And as prices rise, the looming spectre of food inflation starts casting its shadow, making that simple bowl of rice a luxury for some. In the grand dance of global trade, this is one move that’s got everyone’s attention as we transition to 2024.

3. The EMDEs: Emerging Challenges and Diverging Beats

Emerging Market and Developing Economies (EMDEs) are facing their own set of challenges. Excluding China, their growth is expected to plummet, with the World Bank predicting a drop to 2.9% in 2023 from 4.1% in 2022. The reasons? Tight global financial conditions and a lack of external demand. It’s like trying to dance the cha-cha with a partner who’s more interested in the moonwalk.

4. The BRICS are Expanding Their Band in 2024

The BRICS are expanding their party guest list. Come January 2024, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina, and the United Arab Emirates are set to join the BRICS, turning this quintet into a more formidable ensemble. But here’s the twist: this isn’t just about adding more chairs to the table; it’s a strategic move to counterbalance the G7 and other Western-led cliques. With this expansion, the BRICS are aiming to amplify the voice and influence of emerging economies on the global stage. It’s like watching the underdogs form their own supergroup, ready to drop a beat that could redefine global economic rhythms. As the BRICS’ share of global exports and foreign direct investment grows, this new alliance might just be the backup dancers EMDEs need to take centre stage in the global economic performance. So, as 2024 approaches, let’s tune in to see if this expanded BRICS band can produce chart-topping hits or if they’ll face the music of geopolitical discord.

5. The Financial Sector: Banking Turbulence and Its Ripple Effects

The World Bank raises a red flag about the recent resurgence of banking sector turmoil. Several large banks in advanced economies have stumbled, and the fear is that more might follow suit. If this banking chaos escalates into a full-blown crisis, the global economy could face a severe downturn in 2024, with growth potentially plummeting to a mere 0.3%. It’s a scenario that could turn the economic dance floor into a mosh pit.

6. 2024 Recovery: A Delicate Balance of Steps

Recovery from the pandemic is proving to be a delicate dance. The World Bank points out that nearly a third of EMDEs might end up with lower per capita incomes in 2024 than they had in 2019. Fragility, conflict, and humanitarian crises are exacerbating the situation, making the path to prosperity a tightrope walk for many.

7. Technology is Changing The Economic Track

If you thought technology was just about the latest iPhone or that quirky app your niece can’t stop talking about, think again. As we move into 2024, technology is poised to be the DJ spinning the tracks for the global economic dance party. From AI-driven supply chains that predict market trends before you even feel the itch to shop, to blockchain systems that could make traditional banking look like an 80s retro party – outdated and a tad too flashy – the tech wave is reshaping how we produce, consume, and even think about value.

And let’s not forget about the gig economy, fuelled by platforms and apps, turning traditional employment on its head and making side hustles the new 9-to-5 or 11-to-7. But here’s the twist in our techno-tango: while tech offers a world of opportunities, it also brings challenges. Job displacements, privacy concerns, and the digital divide could turn our groovy tech dance into a heaping mess of issues.

So, as 2024 looms, the question isn’t just how technology will shape economic development, but how we’ll adapt our steps to keep up with the ever-evolving technology advancements.

8.  Profits with a Purpose for 2024 – Responsible and Regenerative Development

Let’s shift gears and talk about the new rhythm that’s taking the global economy by storm: responsible and regenerative development. Gone are the days when businesses just chased the almighty dollar without a second thought. As we move into 2024, there’s a growing chorus that’s singing a different tune: “Profits are cool. But people and planet cannot be ignored!”

This isn’t just about slapping a ‘green’ label on products or throwing some coins to charity. No, mam. It’s about fundamentally rethinking how businesses operate. It’s about understanding that long-term profits can’t exist on a dying planet or amidst struggling communities. Companies are now looking at circular economies, where waste becomes a resource, and sustainability isn’t just a buzzword—it’s the baseline.

And here’s the beautiful part: regenerative development isn’t just good for the soul; it’s good for the wallet too. Consumers are voting with their dollars, supporting businesses that prioritize the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profits. It’s a dance where everyone wins. So, as we move into 2024, keep an eye out for this transformative trend. Because in this new economic dance, businesses aren’t just aiming to make a living; they’re striving to make a difference. Let’s see if they can keep the beat and lead the way to a brighter, more sustainable future.

Navigating the Complex Choreography of 2024

The global economic outlook for 2024 is a mix of intricate dance moves, each with its own rhythm and challenges. From inflationary pressures to banking turmoil, the world is navigating a complex choreography. But as with any dance, it’s all about adaptation, resilience, and finding the right groove. So, as we step into 2024, let’s embrace the music, anticipate the beats, and dance our way to a brighter economic future.

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About the Author:

Dr. Auliana Poon
Managing Director/Chief Strategist
Leve Global

auliana poon

Dr. Auliana Poon heads Leve-Global.  She is a courageous and passionate businesswoman. A trained Economist, Dr. Poon is a management consultant and strategist with a focus on sustainable and responsible tourism, climate adaptation, and regenerative economic development. Dr. Poon led teams that developed innovative economic solutions for over 50 countries around the world including Australia, Barbados, the Bahamas, Iceland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Mauritius, Mozambique, Singapore, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland and Zambia.

An experienced researcher and analyst with fiercely independent thought, Dr Poon believes that developing countries cannot continue to compete with natural attributes – Sun, Sand, Sea, Oil and Natural Gas alone.  For success and sustainability, a more people-centred, culture-oriented, innovation-based, sustainability-directed, technology-focused and talent-driven approach is needed. 

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